BSc Nutritional Therapy

Course summary

This course is designed to meet the particular needs of persons studying for a professional qualification in Nutritional Therapy and is attractive to both complete newcomers to healthcare and to individuals who have already trained in other healthcare areas. The course provides the opportunity for full academic progression from Level 4 to Level 5 with an exit point that will provide you with a non-clinical qualification;  through to Level 6 that will provide you with a clinical qualification in Nutritional Therapy.

Once enrolled onto the course, you can choose to top up to a BSc (Hons) in Nutritional Therapy.

The course is supported through University of West London's Virtual Learning Environment (Blackboard and PebblePad.) which is available via the University's website, 24 hours a day from anywhere that has internet access. Much of the course can therefore be studied at a distance, with the exception of the compulsory clinical sessions (BSc).

The course builds a sound knowledge base in the theory and practice of Nutritional Therapy, underpinned by the concomitant development of basic medical sciences. The student engages in formative learning in anatomy and physiology and basic biochemistry, as well as the study of named diseases (pathology), as it relates to the field of practice. Students develop their practitioner skills through clinical practice, monitored and supervised by experienced qualified and registered nutritional practitioners, who are qualified to degree level and higher.


For further information about this course, please contact nutrition@uwl.ac.uk.

Course detail

The course of study consists of supported distance learning study modules, which comprise 120 credits at each level.

Credit Level 4 (2 years) builds the essential foundation of information needed for an understanding of nutrition such as knowledge of macro-nutrients, micro-nutrients, food composition and processing, basic dietary requirements and digestive processes.  Study skills are supported throughout this level and you will be introduced to basic research skills. You will also undertake a work based observational placement to develop the skills required to pursue a wide range of employment possibilities within the health sector. The exit point for Level 4 will give you 120 credits in a non-clinical certificate. You will be awarded the Certificate in Higher Education in Nutritional Therapy.

Credit Level 5 (2 years) further develops the understanding of modern Nutritional Therapy practice and its current applications within Integrated Medicine. You are provided with an essential understanding of biochemical imbalances that are believed to contribute to the development of many prevalent disease states. Study of pharmacology and pathophysiology will allow you to understand named diseases and practice case studies are used to teach methods for data collection, interpretation and rationalisation for nutritional prescribing. It also includes the work based placement to further develop the employability skills required to pursue a wide range of career possibilities within the health sector.

Credit Level 6 (BSc-1 year) prepares you for clinical practice, looking at the therapeutic relationship and the practicalities of setting up in business. It provides practical experience of analysis and interpretation of case histories and development of a nutritional programme, through a series of consultations in clinical situations. It addresses practice management within ethical and regulatory frameworks.

Non-UK Based Students
Non-UK based students are enrolled on the non-clinic Diploma of Higher Education in Nutritional Therapeutics.  This Diploma will be awarded upon completion of Levels 4 and 5 which are delivered via supported distance learning.  Successful students will have the option to complete the BSc/BSc (Hons) Nutritional Therapy.  The BSc will require travel to the U.K. to complete the required clinical component of the programme.  The BSc is currently of one year duration.  However attendance is only required for 12 days organized in four blocks within the year.

NB: Access to a computer with internet access is essential.
Access could be through your local library or workplace, or if practical you could attend one of the University campuses at Brentford or Ealing.

Synopsis of the Modules:

Credit Level 4

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Macronutrients at Work in the Body
  • Micronutrients at Work in the Body
  • The Classification and Composition of Foods
  • Intestinal Microflora in Health and Disease
  • Nutrition in Action

Credit Level 5

  • Metabolic Dysfunction in Disease
  • Pathophysiology of Named Conditions
  • Clinical Data Collection and Case Interpretation
  • Developing Nutritional Programmes
  • Case Progression Strategies
  • Experiential Learning in Nutritional Therapeutics.

Credit Level 6

  • Management of Clinical Practice and Therapeutic Relationship
  • Clinical Practice.

Credit Level 4

Anatomy and Physiology
This module provides an introduction to the anatomy of the human body. It will also give an insight into the relationship between the structure and function of the individual at the system level and as a fully integrated organism. The theory is supported by a virtual practical activity.

Macronutrients at Work in the Body
This module introduces the concepts of energy intake, expenditure and balance; in relation to the intake of the macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fats. The module looks at the chemical properties of the macronutrients and their intake through the processes of digestion and absorption.

Micronutrients at Work in the Body
This module takes a detailed look at the micronutrients that are essential to life, and addresses the dietary sources, functions, requirements, signs of deficiency and toxicity, bioavailability and absorption of these nutrients.  The evidence for the therapeutic effects of vitamins and minerals are considered as viewed by conventional and naturopathic practitioners.

The Classification and Composition of Foods
This module details the classification and composition of different foods. The nutritional and therapeutic value of foods and their inclusion as part of a balanced diet is considered from both the conventional and naturopathic standpoint.

Intestinal Microflora in Health and Disease
This module studies the importance of the role of the microflora in health and the use of fermented foods, functional foods and supplements (prebiotics, probiotics and symbiotics) to alter the composition of the microflora. The specific requirements of vulnerable groups and those with special requirements in relation to health are discussed.

Nutrition in Action
This module looks at helping you to explore nutrition within a specific health workplace where you will undertake specific tasks to help develop and acquire skills and knowledge with the industry setting as part of a vocational training program.

Credit Level 5

Metabolic Dysfunction in Disease
This module provides you with an essential understanding of biochemical imbalances that are widely experienced today and which are believed to contribute to the development of many prevalent disease states.  You will use a specific model of client care (the Functional Medicine Model) to gain an understanding of the ways in which nutrition and lifestyle inputs can contribute to biochemical balance and imbalance.

Pathophysiology of Named Conditions
This module investigates the aetiology of disease and associated risk factors for specific conditions.  It examines both the conventional medical and the nutritional approach to the management of these conditions.

Clinical Data Collection and Case Interpretation
This module introduces you to clinical skills used in Nutritional Therapy.  Various data collection techniques will be compared. Dietary collection methods will be evaluated to determine the accuracy of dietary information gathered, and the reliability of each method in determining accurate nutritional intake.  The interpretation of the cases gathered by the students will inform joint therapeutic aims of client and practitioner; and clinical decision making for the nutritional programme. This will be supported with scientific research to demonstrate evidence base support of findings.

Developing Nutritional Programmes
This module develops your clinical skills in Nutritional Therapy. You will practice formulating individualised nutrition programmes.  The therapeutic aims determined from the interpretation will guide programme design, and you will prioritise clinical decisions to accommodate client 's lifestyle and needs.  Justification of the nutrition programme will be supported with scientific research to demonstrate evidence informed practice

Case Progression Strategies
You will explore the use of a variety of advanced nutritional and non-nutritional interventions, and lifestyle advice to enhance health. It will investigate the consultation, critically reviewing the management of the needs of the client and manipulating the original management programme in order to ensure a steady rate of progression towards health.

Experiential Learning in Nutritional Therapeutics
This module looks at developing  your employability skills. You will be required to secure a place within a health care setting as part of a vocational training program. To then undertake specific tasks to help develop generic skills that will enhance career development and employability and acquire skills and knowledge with the industry setting.

Credit Level 6 (BSc)

Management of Clinical Practice and the Therapeutic Relationship
This module explores the relationship between the practitioner and the client. It also explores the legal, professional, ethical and practical requirements of operating a Nutritional Therapy practice.

Clinical Practice
This module critically applies nutritional therapeutic approaches and techniques in a clinical setting.  It addresses practice management in terms of operational, ethical and regulatory frameworks. You will be monitored throughout the gathering of evidence of practice and will be individually supervised during some client consultations in accordance with the requirements of the professional registering bodies.

Entry requirements

200 UCAS tariff points, which would normally include at least two subject areas or equivalent qualifications at Level 3 plus GCSE Grade C or above in English language and mathematics.

Students without the above qualifications who have relevant work experience are invited to apply and all applicants for this course are required to attend an interview.

International entry criteria
International students need to meet our English language requirement at either IELTS at 5.5 or above.

Contact our International Office to find out what international qualifications you need to get onto a course www.uwl.ac.uk/international

Fees

UK fees

Main fee
GBP2,055

International (non-UK/EU) fees

Main fee
GBP4,195
Find out if you are a home or overseas student.

Funding

Find out more about funding, scholarships and bursaries

Please note that fees given are per academic year unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to change. Costs can increase each year.

How to apply

Interview

All applicants for this course are required to attend an interview.

Tips on applying

Apply for this course

During the course

Teaching methods

This course is delivered as blended learning. At Levels 4 and 5 you study at a distance supported by the University's Virtual Learning environment (University of West London Online, Blackboard and PebblePad). This provides you with access to resources, learning materials, support, opportunities for collaborating with your fellow students; course announcements and developments; and administrative support.

Level 6 consists of facilitated in-class teaching, monitored and supervised clinical practice and tutor-supported independent study.

NB: Access to a computer with internet access is essential. Access could be through your local library or workplace, or if practical you could attend one of our sites at Brentford or Ealing.

Learning materials

You will be provided with a range of distance learning materials. These include a Module Study Guide for each module, which will indicate essential texts, journals, and website addresses. You will also be provided with study text which deliver the core learning of each module, and contain learning material, learning activities, references, appendices and ongoing checkpoint activities (designed for self-assessment of progress).

Lecture notes and student workbooks will be provided to support the facilitated in-class learning at Level 6.

Assessment

Coursework

This is a part-time distance learning degree programme and as such will require a minimum of 5 or 6 years to complete. Levels 4 and 5 take 2 years each to complete. It takes a further year to complete the BSc and qualify as a practitioner. At this stage you are encouraged to progress to the Honours stage should you wish, which will take a further year to complete.

At Levels 4 and 5, modules are assessed by both formative and summative assessments and online e-assessments. The formative assessments consist of ongoing self-assessment questions to check progress and online discussion to allow engagement with peers and module tutors. There are a variety of summative assessments across the modules.

At Level 4 these include short-response questions, mini-essays, dietary analyses and extended pieces of written work. Most assessments at Level 5 are based on case history taking, interpretation and theoretical management of given case studies and voluntary patients. There is also a requirement to submit a folder of evidence for the work based learning modules for Level 4 and 5.

At Level 6 competency to practice is assessed and summative assessments include reflective essays, a folder of evidence and a practice development plan. Completion of two further summative assessments and a dissertation is required for students completing the programme to BSc (Hons) level.

Student support

You will have a named Module Leader for each module who will support you as you work through the materials, and provide guidance and advice as you prepare for the module assessments. The Course Leader is also there to help you plan your course of study, and achieve a satisfying, coherent learning experience. You will also be allocated a Personal Tutor who will provide pastoral support throughout the duration of the course. You can also attend the Annual Nutrition Research Forum held at University of West London. These events provide an opportunity to meet with other students and practitioners, and attendance is free of charge to current students. Attendance is not an essential requirement but rather a choice for those who feel they would benefit from an opportunity to meet with the Nutritional Therapy Team and fellow students.

What our students say

Sharon Mobbs, BSc (Hons) Nutritional Therapy

'At the age of 30 I finally found my passion - nutritional therapy. I studied part-time for my degree which took five years, whilst working a corporate job and having a baby!

I graduated in 2012 and started practicing straight away. I totally loved studying nutrition, particularly the last year when we spend more time at university (it's great when all the different pieces of information finally sink in!), though it is great to be out in the real world. It's quite daunting when you're unleashed into the business world to practice nutritional therapy, but I was confident that university had given me a sound grounding in physiology, nutrition, testing, supplements, the ability to research how best to help clients, and in the therapeutic client relationship.

My business, Harmony Nutrition, is a growing nutrition consultancy supporting both individual and corporate clients in Berkshire. I practice privately, but also provide wellness programs to the local children's centre, my local council, and private companies. I also have a lively Facebook page, a blog aimed at corporate nutritional needs, and am starting to run some online courses and support other therapists with practical business skills.

You can find me at www.harmonynutrition.co.uk'

Kieran Macphail, BSc Nutritional Therapy graduate

'I thoroughly enjoyed the Nutritional Therapy course at UWL. It gave me all the fundamentals I use today in practice working with chronic pain patients and athletes.

In particular I enjoyed the functional medicine model they teach. This is the foundation of the work I do now as both a physiotherapist and nutritional therapist. This has allowed me to receive referrals from consultants, physiotherapists, osteopaths and trainers, growing a business that allows me to live very comfortably.

You can find me at  www.kieranmacphail.com'

Jobs and placements

Career and study progression

The Experiential Learning module requires you to spend a period of time in employment within an external organisation. You will have the option of exploring a work place opportunity from a broad cross-section of relevant settings within the field of nutrition.

Students have successfully gained placement opportunities within a number of organisations including:

  • Primary Schools
  • Care Homes
  • NGOs
  • Health and Wellbeing facilities
  • Supplement Companies.

Study progression

Successful completion of this course to BSc level will entitle you to apply for registration with the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC). The CNHC was established with government support to regulate Nutritional Therapy. The BSc/BSc (Hons) Nutritional Therapy course is accredited by the Nutritional Therapy Education Commission (NTEC).

Successful completion of the BSc (Hons) programme may also open career opportunities in the field of research, education or specialised practice.

KIS